Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 15:49 UK

Lorry driver hijacked on motorway

Lorry similar to the one which was hijacked (Photo courtesy of Cheshire Police)
The lorry was hijacked in Ellesmere Port

A lorry has been hijacked on the M53 near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire in an operation to steal a load of cigarettes from Merseyside's Birkenhead Docks.

Police said the lorry driver, who works for a firm in Preston, was stopped by bogus officials who commandeered his wagon on Thursday.

The lorry's tractor unit was used to take the load of cigarettes to Hapsford near Chester.

The driver of the lorry was then taken to the Humber where he was abandoned.

Illuminated sign

According to Cheshire Police, the driver was travelling from Deeside in North Wales and was en-route to Birkenhead Docks when it was pulled over by a Ford Galaxy, made to look like a Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) car.

The Ford pulled in front of the lorry and illuminated its sign, instructing the vehicle to follow it.

The lorry stopped near junction 7 of the M53 and two offenders forced the driver to continue driving to the docks where he exchanged his trailer for another trailer containing a large quantity of cigarettes.

The offenders are then believed to have followed the lorry to Hapsford Services, where the trailer was attached to the offenders' vehicle.

The driver and his cab were taken to and subsequently found in Killingholme, in the Humber region.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the robbery to contact them - the offenders' tractor unit and the stolen trailer have not been found.




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